Mental Health

Working On Us: Week 12 – Self-care

illustration of a brain encircled by the words mental health matters

It’s week 12 of the working on us prompt series from Beckie at Beckie’s Mental Mess.  Please visit her post for the guidelines for participating.  This week’s focus is on self-care.

Prompt #1 Questions:

  1. Were their signs of your self-care routine lacking before you were officially diagnosed with a mental illness/disorders?   My memory of that time isn’t great, but I don’t think it was too big of an issue.  I wasn’t eating much, but that was more because I had no appetite rather than not taking care of myself.
  2. Did you (or) do you suffer from low self-esteem?  When I was well, my self-esteem was generally pretty good.  When I’m depressed self-esteem is sometimes a problem, but more often my focus is on (perceived) lack of abilities.  I’m thinking along the lines of “I’m not good enough at [task X]” rather than “I’m not good enough as a human being.”
  3. Is there (or) have there been stages of guilt when not properly taking care of your self-care routine?  I don’t think that’s ever been an issue for me.  Usually when my self-care starts to go one of the first things to off is any degree of caring about self-care.
  4. (You can refrain from answering the next question if you wish to).  What was the longest period of time between taking a shower, and/or brushing your teeth?  I think the longest I’ve gone without showering was three weeks, which was around the time of my second hospitalization.  Teeth brushing would be longer than that, I’m sure.  I seldom brush my teeth anymore; I simply don’t care enough to bother.  I think I brushed them last night, though ๐Ÿ™‚
  5. If you are supposed to be going out for whatever occasion, are you concerned with your over-all appearance?  (Or) Do you take care of your self-care needs before leaving the house?  I used to consider it self-care to make myself presentable when leaving the house.  Now, I don’t see it as self-care; instead, I see it as something that’s done to try to please other people.  I don’t like other people, so I don’t particularly care what they think of me.
  6. What advice can you give to someone who is having difficulty with their self-care routine?  (Note: If someone was to ask for your advice, what would you share with them?)  I’d say prioritize the self in self-care.  Don’t push yourself to do things just for the sake of other people.  People are stupid.  You do what’s best for you.

Prompt #2 Photo:  Describe for us what or how you feel when you see this picture?

Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Unhappy, Worried, Problem

“Back the f*** off already” is what pops to mind.

On a bit of a tangent, there are many photos of this woman scattered across Pixabay.  Her weird thick side braid creeps me out.  It looks like there’s some jungle creature slithering down her body.

And for her self-care, she shouldn’t give a crap about what curmudgeonly people like me think.

The end!


book cover: Managing the Depression Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together by Ashley L. Peterson


My new book, Managing the Depression Puzzle takes a holistic, everything up to and including the kitchen sink look at how to put together the pieces of your unique depression puzzle. It’s available on Amazon and other online retailers, as well as the MH@H Store.


19 thoughts on “Working On Us: Week 12 – Self-care”

  1. Ashley, thank you for responding to this Week #12 of “Working on Us” Firstly, I have never seen the picture before until now. I do apologize if it ticked you off.
    I tend not to give a damn what others think of me and my appearance especially when in the abyss of a depressive episode. I’m a slug. The longest I went without showering was a week, same with brushing my teeth.
    What bothers me, is when I am feeling better, I shower every other day, but I still don’t brush my teeth everyday. This never made sense to me.
    I appreciate you participating and being so candid in your answers.

    1. No, not ticked off at all ๐Ÿ™‚
      With showering things start to get smelly fairly quickly, but with teeth it seems like you have a glass of something to drink and you’re good to go.

  2. I try to keep a basic level of self-care. I don’t think I’ve ever skipped brushing my teeth because of depression, although I do skip flossing quite often. I don’t think I’ve gone more than three days without a shower. I try really hard to keep those things up, because I know that once I start slipping, it’s a very steep, slippery slope. Plus, not brushing my teeth or showering would lower my mood more than any benefit. I try to shave most days too, especially if I’m going out.

    I do have big self-esteem issues, though. I think my self-esteem issues actually underpin all my mental health issues. The low self-esteem itself probably comes from high functioning autism, and struggling to fit in now and as a child as a result of it.

  3. Her braid really is creepy! It’s as thick as her head!

    Oh, I too have to force myself to brush or floss. Sometimes I’ll cheat by running some water over my brush and then cleaning my teeth real fast with the wet toothbrush. Often, I go out and about (to run errands or whatever) with horrid hygiene. The motivation has to be there, and if it isn’t, well, it isn’t. I do feel great, though, when I’m clean from the shower and all that. But it takes so much effort! I have to floss, clean my eyeglasses, etc., etc., well, you know what I mean.

  4. Personal hygiene is so important to my mental health. The older I get the more important it is. Right now, I shower, shave, and brush my teeth every day. Yesterday was a day off from work and I did not do these things. I felt like a slob. At one time, I lived in the north woods and did not brush my teeth for years. I paid the price and now wear dentures. I like to be clean. I like a clean shirt too. Pants I don’t care about but there may come a time I will want clean pants, too. My personal hygiene affects my sense of well being. I took up flossing 2 years ago. I dry my feet between my toes after a shower. I am a clean-nick. Hair combed, too. I like a clean T-shirt but prefer a clean Polo shirt. I like a clean ass.

  5. I love your advice to prioritize the “self” in self-care. I think I will write that down in my journal to remember it ๐Ÿ™‚ And LOL at your reaction to the photo! I can relate to the “back the f*** off” sentiment after this week at work!!

  6. I struggle with my mental health a lot more than let known. Awesome read! I started my blog up April 2019. I canโ€™t work to brachial plexus injury (right arm doesnโ€™t work) & severe head injury in 2013. Since then, I had a baby in 2017, married 2018, another kid 2019. I would love to interact if you get a chance! or ๐Ÿ™‚ have a lovely day! Xx

  7. I love your honest answers โค๏ธ I used to wear a lot of make up just to look presentable for others but now I do what I want. It’s much more important

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